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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Leavey Leadership Leacture - Bob Corcoran

Last week, I attended the Leavey Leadership Lecture by Bob Corcoran, the Chief Learning Officer of GE. The lecture was quite short and it was followed by a brief questionaire round with the audience. What is normally good about these types of lectures is that one gets an insight into the lives of industry leaders and people, who have grown up in close proximity of other great leaders (in this case, Jack Welch). As it turned out, the evening was indeed quite fruitful. I have otted down some of the salient points from the lecture:


(1). Growth versus Time is a S-curve, the same as performance versus Time. As time goes by, we need to Grow and Learn more to Perform more. To perform better and better, one needs to keep raising the bar on the performance.

(2). One should always look at what value he/she is creating for the company. In the long run, that is what matters. Creating value for the company can be any of "More", "Better", "Faster" and "Cheaper". Similarly, in the personal life, creating value can be in terms of "Profession","Family" and "Community".

(3). In the general case, Real Leaders actually look for the best person to promote and the best person is normally the one who can create the maximum value for the company.

(4). Rewards can be in terms of Promotion, more of the same work (most common) or making the person head of another division or startup of the company.

(5). If you get more work, always Priotize the work. A good executive always : (a). Prioritizes, (b) Decides what he or she is NOT going to do, (c). Focuses ONLY on the issue at hand and (d) Disciplines not to get wayward

(6). (Office) Politics is all about Power - the bigger the job, the authority actually goes down. You don't have much power on laterally and upward. So, you have to use influence. The best way to GET POWER is to GIVE AWAY POWER.

(7). Never go for a Job Interview in a half-hearted manner. If you do not want the Job, then DON'T GO for it If you have already interviewed, then withdraw your name before the manager makes the offer. This is especially true if you are interviewing internally within the same company in another group.

(8). Going higher up in the corporate ladder requires sacrifice. (Bob gave up his volleyball and friends and concentrated solely on his career and FAMILY).

(9). Always know the bigger picture of your organization. It is definitely important to be very good at your work, but it is equally important to know your company's technology and business.

(10). In general, you should not stop a person leaving the organization by offering more money. A person who stays for money will definitely leave again for money.

(11). When you reward a person, please make sure that unequal people are not equally rewarded.

(12). Before you start leading a team, make sure you evaulate your team, understand your team and that the team understands you. Make sure you sit on 1-on-1 with each of the team members to know them a bit more personally too.

Cheers !

Thyaga